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Thread: Samu car wash

  1. #1

    Samu car wash

    Yesterday my husband wanted to hand-wash our cars to get the winter road salt off of them (at least until the next storm rolls through). I thought of Jundo and his toilets--because I HATE washing cars. In the past (pre-zen life) when hubby tried to 'teach' me how to do this, I ended up soaking wet because I could not control the hose spray, and miserable with his constant admonitions and corrections, and neither I nor the car came out of the experience very well. I've been relegated to just towel drying at the end for quite a while.

    Well, new day, new life--husband hurt his back, and so I really did need to help out this time as he could not bend down to wash without much pain. Ah ha! Let's try the Zen approach this time and just see what happens!

    No goals--just pay attention to the task at hand. Hose down a section to get car wet, take the sponge from the soap water, wipe in circles from the top windows down to the bottom part of the paint in one section, put sponge in rinse water then back in the soap, and sponge waits patiently while you hose off the soap from the car. Sounds simple, right? Well, just sitting sounds simple too :wink:

    Learning to actually SEE what I'm washing--to notice where one surface connects to another or where there is a gap between surfaces--all these myriad places are 'nooks and crannies' that need special attention to get the hidden dirt out of. As we sit for longer times (not within a session, but I mean over days/weeks/months) the 'nooks and crannies' in our lives that need attention gradually rise to the surface. When I flood these places with water and see all the black dirt fleeing the vehicle, I see various attachments fleeing from my grasp in life. When the sun dries off the water and there are missed spots of dirt, that's my life during day-to-day, off the cushion, when the aggrevations or joys shine 'dharma sun' on my life and I can see the spots in my life that I have missed and can continue to work on, or sit with.

    When my husband says 'no, you forgot to do this part' or 'no, do the chrome first because it shows up the most' or 'work quicker before the sun dries on the soap'--that's just the teacher with the 'stick' saying 'pay attention and look at what you are doing'. This time, there was no issue of 'me' making mistakes, or doing a bad job. There was no good job or bad job, just a car, a hose and bucket of water and some soap.

    Well, I still don't like washing cars, but I guess that's the value of samu, after all. I learned a lot, and in the end, both me and the car came out a little cleaner.

    Gassho, Ann

  2. #2

    Re: Samu car wash

    Wonderful story. Thank you, Ann

  3. #3

    Re: Samu car wash

    Thank you Ann!
    Im a big fan of Snow shoveling/blowing/bare-handed-frantic-digging Samu

    Gassho, Shohei - The Abominable Snowman

  4. #4

    Re: Samu car wash

    Hello Ann and all,

    Thank you for sharing your story!

    I'm really not a fan of dusting...that is my Samu for today. Dust, sneeze, dust, sneeze... :wink:

    much peace to you and all,
    Kelly - Jinmei

  5. #5

    Re: Samu car wash

    i need to start integrating this into my daily routine. usually the house is just a hell hole. better than years before, but we have two kids and it's just nuts. my thing is picking up and dishes. hate it!!!! i need to integrate a half hour in here and there each day to keep on top of things, not get overwhelmed, and of course, practice.
    good story.

  6. #6

    Re: Samu car wash

    Hi all,

    Great thread and I too spent a portion of yesterday getting the salt off my car. And I know what you mean about a different way of looking at it now as samu. One thing I've definitely noticed since being at Treleaf is that the chores I do around the house have become less of a chore. I wash dishes more carefully, I don't worry about getting every last spot of dirt off the floor. My attitude has been largely, "I'll get it next time" and it's more about creating a regular routine. Just today when I was painting the upstairs hall in my house I didn't worry about covering every little spot with the first coat or feel like I had to fill every pockmark on the wall. In the past I would have felt compelled to make the wall "perfect" before and after painting it, leaving more than a few walls unattended to for many months. Today I put on the first coat and didn't give much thought to when or if those pockmarks would ever be a matter of concern.

    That's a great feeling.


  7. #7

    Re: Samu car wash

    Even as we clean, with diligence and care, seeking to get the dirt out as we can ...

    ... we know that there is nothing to achieve, nothing soiled in need of cleaning. Not two.

  8. #8

    Re: Samu car wash

    I too have to agree with Scott in that 'chores don't seem as much like chores.' Focusing my attention on the task w/o worrying about 'when will this be over' really changes everything.

    And Jundo, my wife thanks you for this as now I get a lot more done w/o the complaining. You get the Good Housekeeping seal of approval from wives everywhere! 8)

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